§ Jacqui Smith
The Department has never collected information separately on the numbers of behind-the-ear (BTE) or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids provided by the national health service. However, when the NHS issues hearing aids, the cost is borne by the NHS. I understand that the Department for Work and Pensions also issues hearing aids in some circumstances. That would be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.